February Election might be extended based on INEC’s statement

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The National Chairman of Independence Natioal Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, will have consultative meetings with chairmen and secretaries of all registered political parties,on saturday (today) in order to know whether to change the date of the election to be held on february 14,2015 or not.

He is also expected to meet with the Resident Electoral Commissioners on the same day, Saturday, February 7.

On Thursday, Jega, was invited to brief the National Council of States on the preparedness of INEC to conduct the 2015 general elections.

The INEC boss has been under tremendous pressure to shift the polls. Some political parties and other stakeholders have been calling for the postponement of the election.

He made a presentation titled, “Preparations for the 2015 General Elections: Progress Report.

The National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dansuki and Armed Services Chiefs also briefed the Council on the current security situation.

In response to the request by the Council of State seeking for six-week election postponement, Jega replied:

“Although our state of preparedness may not be 100 per cent and although a bit of more time of additional preparation would enable us to improve and perfect the current level of preparedness, we believe that we’re ready for the elections as planned.

“However, we also believe that it is necessary to take into context the things outside the control of the commission, such as: attitude of politicians, political parties, candidates and voters; and significantly, security for election personnel, materials and voters, especially in areas under insurgency, which only the appropriate authorities can definitely speak on.

“No matter the extent of our readiness, if there are serious security concerns, the successful conduct of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections would be greatly jeopardised.

“INEC has been working with these authorities, especially under the inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security, but our concerns have not been assuaged.

“Yesterday, for example, we received a letter from the office of the National Security Adviser informing us of recent developments in four of the North-East states, states that safety and security cannot be guaranteed during the proposed election period, adducing reasons why this is so, and strongly advising that INEC considers rescheduling the elections by at least six weeks, within which time span it is hoped to restore sufficient normalcy for elections to hold.

“This is a new development that INEC cannot certainly ignore or take lightly.”

To me, sounds like Election date might be extended based on reasons stated here. Keeping you updated.. stay tuned!


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